Living Well with Lipedema
Navigating Social Eating with Confidence This Thanksgiving
Today, I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from my book, “The Lymphatic Code,” which may help with some of the challenges of navigating dietary changes during the Holidays. I hope these tips can make this holiday season more enjoyable for you!
The Challenge of Dietary Change in Social Contexts
Changing your diet, like adopting a ketogenic lifestyle, can be quite a challenge, particularly when you find yourself in social gatherings. The fear of succumbing to temptations or facing questions about your unique dietary choices is common. But fear not! I’m here to provide you with insights and strategies to navigate these situations with confidence and ease.
The Power of Shifting Focus
One of the first steps in adapting to social eating while managing lipedema is to change how we perceive these gatherings. Often, food is seen as the main event at social occasions, but what if we shifted our focus? Instead of food being the primary source of enjoyment, let’s place more emphasis on the conversations and camaraderie with our dining companions. By doing this, we reframe the experience, making the social connection the star of the show, not the food.
Redefining Celebration: Beyond Food
Celebrations often revolve around food, especially items like cake and other sweet treats. There are numerous non-food methods to celebrate – a hug, a high-five, a song, or a dance. Embracing these can make managing lipedema easier and foster healthy social habits.
Strategies for Navigating Social Eating
Let’s dive into some practical strategies that can help you stick to your dietary choices without feeling out of place or deprived.
- Defensive Eating: Before attending a social event, have a hearty ketogenic meal. This will reduce your hunger and thus the temptation to indulge in non-keto foods.
- Be a Contributor: Offer to bring a dish to the gathering. This ensures that there’s at least one thing on the menu you can enjoy without worry.
- Prepared Responses: Have a comfortable explanation ready for your dietary choices. Whether it’s a doctor’s recommendation or a personal health decision, a clear, concise response can ward off awkward questions. You don’t have to offer any explanation if you aren’t asked.
“My doctor has put me on a special diet.”I’m testing to see if I’m allergic to (chocolate, dairy, sugar, wheat, etc) so I
can’t have that right now.”“I’ve started a special way of eating and have already lost so many pounds,
so I don’t want to quit now. I know you’ll support me on this!”
- Strategic Plate Filling: Fill your plate with foods that fit your diet. A full plate is less noticeable than one with little on it.
- Open Communication: Inform your host about your dietary restrictions in advance. This way, they won’t be offended if you pass on certain dishes.
Restaurant and Fast Food Strategies
Dining out and fast food can be particularly challenging. Here are some strategies to help you make the best choices:
- Menu Pre-Review: Before dining out, review the restaurant’s menu online. Decide what you’ll order ahead of time to avoid on-the-spot decisions.
- Meal Sharing: Consider ordering one meal and sharing it. This not only helps with portion control but also ensures you’re sticking to your diet.
- Ask and Adapt: Don’t hesitate to ask how dishes are prepared. Request substitutions like extra veggies instead of high-carb sides.
- Ingredient Awareness: Inquire about ingredients in sauces, soups, and stuffings. Avoid dishes that are breaded or labeled as “gluten-free,” as they often contain other high-carb ingredients.
- Selective Eating: Focus on the nutritious parts of your meal. View the bun, tortilla, or crust as mere carriers of the good stuff and avoid them.
- Substitute: Request extra butter and olive oil while omitting bread. Opt for lettuce wrap or burger on a lettuce bed (e.g., “protein style”). Skip fries and soda; choose a side salad and unsweetened iced tea. Enjoy pizza toppings, discard the crust. Unwrap tacos or burritos and eat the fillings. Treat buns, tortillas, and crust as a plate; avoid fried chicken due to non-keto breading and unhealthy oils.
Additional Tips for a Lipedema-Friendly Lifestyle
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This not only keeps you hydrated but can also help reduce the feeling of hunger.
- Mindful Eating: Eat slowly and savor each bite. This helps in better digestion and gives your body time to signal when it’s full.
- Regular Movement: Incorporate light exercises like walking or stretching into your routine. This boosts your metabolism and overall well-being.
- Support Network: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who understand and respect your dietary choices.
- Self-Care: Remember to take time for yourself. Managing lipedema is not just about diet; it’s about overall wellness.
Concluding Thoughts and Resources
In closing, I encourage you to view your dietary changes not as restrictions, but as steps towards a healthier, more fulfilling life. Each meal, each choice, is a step towards managing lipedema more effectively.
Remember, managing lipedema is not just about diet; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes your health and well-being. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate each small victory!
Stay Informed and Inspired
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